Open City, Nesher share ‘Secret’

Lensing set to begin in spring 2000

NEW YORK — Open City, the independent shingle behind Tony Bui’s Sundance winner “Three Seasons,” has inked Israeli director Avi Nesher to write and direct “The Secret,” a period film set during the Holocaust.

“Secret” tells the true story of a Lithuanian Jew who, during World War II, passes himself off as a member of the SS. When the war ends, he is tried for perpetuating the ruse.

“When my father, a survivor of the war in the Baltic states, told me this story, I was riveted,” said Open City co-founder Jason Kilot. “This is a new and original perspective on the Holocaust.”

Like “Three Seasons,” the first American film made in Vietnam, “Secret” will be shot on location in Germany and the Baltic States. Lensing is set to commence in spring 2000.

While the budget has yet to be worked out, Kilot, who will co-produce with his partner Joana Vicente, expects “Secret” to cost about $8 million. Open City is seeking European co-financing.

Open City productions include the upcoming Miramax release “Down to You,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr.

Nesher’s latest film, “The Taxman,” will open in New York and L.A. on Sept. 17. He is repped by David Gersh of the Gersh Agency.

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